Developed By: Rainbow Studio Published By: THQ Nordic Categories: Racing Release Date: 09.01.20
Rainbow Studio’s MX vs. ATV series is the one racing game franchise that refuses to die. I remember the first game fifteen years ago, thought it was really fun. Fastforward to 2020, and we have the latest in the series on the Nintendo Switch.
The game gets to driving around pretty fast, with an open hub for you to freely drive around in. The game is front loaded with in my opinion a bit much in terms of tutorials, but once those are done you’re free to do as you please without just being guided to them. Choosing between ATV or Motocross for just driving or events, it’s up to you. ATVs are much more manageable, they are easier to control, but Motocross drives much faster and in turn makes it easier to perform stunts because of the speed. Outside of collectables, unless you just really like driving around doing nothing, you probably won’t be spending much time in the open world. The main meat of the game is the events you can play.
Standard races, Nationals, Arena races, waypoint races, open races, freestyles, etc… There’s a nice variety of events to attempt, which can be alone and in a series. Single Plays can be restarted ad-nauseum to get higher scores with no penalties, but a series requires you to play all of the events, and do your best on that one attempt per event. If none of that is your speed, you can also just do free play events with no penalties. Events that you chose all let you choose the course to do the event in, and while the game has a decent number of courses, the most interesting ones are locked behind DLC. You’ll hear that a lot. With the money you get from events, you can use it to get new vehicles, get new clothing for your rider, and even new parts for your vehicles. This leads into the customization.
While for your rider, it’s just cosmetic, your vehicles are another story. Changing nearly every facet of them to make a Frankenstein monster of a bike or ATV. The parts you get can either just be new looks, or can change the various stats of your vehicles like power, traction, suspension, handling, brakes, and lastly stunts. It might push for some players to min-max the stats, but I found myself just using whatever parts looked best in my opinion, which can and will affect the stats in both positive and negative ways. You can tune the parts to your liking however, to even out any unwanted changes. Each part you can buy isn’t too expensive, but they do have higher tier versions, which can get a little pricey. Unfortunately, you’ll see that the coolest looking vehicles (and parts) are DLC.
The game looks good enough for what it’s trying to do, but it obviously looks worse than the original PS4/Xbox One releases from two years prior. It didn’t happen often, but I’d get really bad stutters in the hub world when driving around, almost as if the game was throttling. It never happened in events thankfully. The game has a licensed soundtrack, which I have mixed feelings on. The music is all fitting, but most of it just blends in together and sounds like the exact kind of music a stereotypical 30-40 year old man who plays Disc Golf would listen to. There are a few songs that stand out, like one from Slash, and two of The Offspring’s songs, even if one is just an instrumental. I have a bigger issue with with the fact you can’t shuffle through the music to play the music you want, so you possibly could be unlucky enough to not even hear some of the songs.
At the time of review, for many attempts I couldn’t connect to an online game. Free play, with friends, private rooms, nothing. It was disappointing, even with rooms found, nothing could be done.
If you’ve been a fan of the series for the last near two decades, you’ll probably enjoy this game. The Switch port might come off a little jank however and the fact that I just couldn’t get online to work was incredibly disappointing.
Buy Now: $39.99
*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes